Longboat Key Mayor Jack Duncan welcomes the pedestrian safety educational program
You may have noticed some new signs with flashing lights indicating places for people to walk and bike across Gulf of Mexico Drive. These are called “midblock crosswalks” with associated RRFBs, or Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons, which have been shown to significantly increase vehicle stoppage making walking and biking safer in St. Petersburg and many other Florida cities. Their installation by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is an example of Engineering for Safety; one of FDOT’s four E’s for safety: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Services. The effectiveness of any one of these components is increased when integrated with the other E’s.
As part of the Town’s efforts to improve the safety of our citizens and visitors on Longboat Key, I am proud to bring the WalkWise pedestrian safety educational program to the Town. WalkWise is a grassroots program funded by District One of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) that offers a free 20-minute interactive presentation focused on pedestrian and bicyclist safety. For over six years, the program has been provided to neighborhood and community groups, and civic and business organizations as a very effective way of getting the word out and starting a community discussion about walking and biking safely. Originated over six years ago by FDOT District Seven and implemented by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida, over 23,000 people have taken part in the program.
The presentation is fun and interactive! Participants use clickers to anonymously vote for their preferred answers. Audience members receive a free reflective backpack and recognition as WalkWise Ambassadors on our web page. The presentation can be adapted to be shorter or longer and customized to meet your needs. WalkWise staff are very flexible with scheduling, and will come to your location at any time with all of the necessary equipment. The program also will be providing on-street outreach to enhance safety knowledge of Florida laws and safe behavior.
If you are interested in a presentation or would like more information, please contact Richard Hartman at 813-974-1584 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out their website and Facebook page, too! www.walkwiseflorida.com
Jack G. Duncan